Region Four RHO confirms isolation units at Diamond favourable

−debunks Stabroek News article’s claim of poor conditions

DPI, Guyana, Monday, May 18, 2020

Regional Health Officer, Region Four Dr. Quincy Jones has issued a statement which debunks claims in a Stabroek News 9SN) article of poor live-in conditions at the Diamond Isolation Unit which shares facilities with the Diamond Diagnostic Centre.

In his response, Dr. Jones said the article contained several half-truths and fallacies that were repeated without supporting evidence.


Regional Health Officer, Region Four (Demerara -Mahaica), Dr. Quincy Jones

He noted that 85 percent of the countries positive cases of coronavirus are housed at this facility with the largest number of 52 persons being housed at a time.

The Unit has the requisite staff needed to ensure that patients are as comfortable as the ultimate goal is to have full recovery of all persons who are admitted to the isolation unit.

Notably, more than 30 persons have recovered at the very institution.

Safety comes first as face masks are provided to patients at least three times daily and upon requests. Also, medical personnel tending to patients do not reuse face masks as it is against the protocol of health and safety.

The medical professionals undergo a complete decontamination process each time they enter the isolation unit and come back out.

There were several challenges highlighted in the article to which the RHO responded.

He noted while the unit has the essentials such as cleaning supplies, hand soap and toilet paper “as with admission to any other hospital facility we would have expected persons to come with any other toiletries they would need.”

It was also pointed out that cleaning supplies are not routinely given to the patients since the unit has persons who daily, clean the building, wash the dirty linens. These persons are supplied with those items

“Garbage is removed daily from the patient’s building, double bagged and sprayed with disinfectant and then completely removed from the compound by two porters,” Dr. Jones stated.

Other issues addressed include water supply to hygienic purposes to which the RHO said that there is an increasing demand for this essential utility and has since put a strain on the regular supply.

Patients’ security is also a priority as all within the isolation unit have been provided with a key for their rooms. However, the RHO explained there have been instances where patients have lost the keys to their rooms.

It was also explained that there is a protocol to be followed regarding the samples and test results. The National Public Health Reference Laboratory processes test results and this information is then communicated to the doctors at the isolation unit.

“Until we get those results in hand, we cannot discharge the patients. For them to be issued with the certificate of clearance to return to their homes and families we need to have two negative tests at least 24 hours apart in hand. Not over the phone but the actual physical result. Many patients do not understand this concept and work themselves up because of it. We have explained this over and over.” Dr. Jones underscored

The RHO said that during this period, the efforts of the staff working throughout this entire process must be commended.